Daily Dodger in review: Scott Podsednik flashes his stuff, hurts foot, checks out
SCOTT PODSEDNIK, 34, outfielder
Final 2010 stats: .297 batting average, six home runs, 51 RBI, 35 stolen bases, .342 on-base percentage, .383 slugging percentage in 595 at-bats.
Contract status: Free agent.
The good: Hit .300 with a .496 slugging percentage against right-handers, not so bad for a slap hitter. Thirty-five overall stolen bases easily highest on the team. Hit .317 with runners in scoring position. Can play all three outfield positions. Hit .310 in first 95 games with the Royals. Hit .304 in August for the Dodgers.
The bad: After collecting only three hits in 26 September at-bats (.115), he was shut down for the rest of the season with plantar fasciitis. Last seen in a walking boot. Was disappointing defensively, which is not to say he wasn’t a huge improvement over Manny Ramirez in left field. Overall batting average as a Dodger was .262, with a .313 on-base percentage. Different guy in the clubhouse. Very serious, keeps mostly to himself.
What’s next: Finished the season with enough at-bats to qualify for a mutual option, which he must have been pretty happy about. The Dodgers agreed to take on his $2-million salary for 2011, but Podsednik took a pass and declared free agency. Now he’s anybody’s baby.
The take: If the Dodgers could have kept Podsednik as a speedy, reserve outfielder at $2 million next season, that would have been a solid, reasonable addition.
If they wanted to make him their everyday left fielder, that would have worked about as well as Bristol Palin in the finals of a national dance show. Of course, at the moment, they have no regular left fielder, just an unattractive collection of all sorts (Xavier Paul, Trayvon Robinson, Trent Oeltjen, Russell Mitchell, Jay Gibbons).
Podsednik is gambling that his season earned him a better deal than one year at $2 mil. Risky, since he’ll be 35 in March and is coming off what can be a nagging foot injury.
That’s not to say he still couldn’t yet return to the Dodgers. Apparently, however, he has understandable ambitions about being an everyday player. Last off-season, he found few takers before signing with the Royals (that’s a team in Kansas City). Should he find his way back to L.A., however, that would only magnify the team’s lack of power if he’s presented as the starting left fielder. Like Gibbons, he bats left, so there’s no platoon there.
-- Steve Dilbeck